On April 8, it is the Roma International Day. The day is celebrated in commemoration of the First International Roma Congress in London 1971, wich marked the beginning of a co-ordinated effort to promote Roma rights at an international level. Minister for Integration, Erik Ullenhag, who also has responsibility for national minorities, sends his greetings to Sweden's Roma population.
A new national research institute will be established in 2013 - Sweden Science for Life Laboratory. The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and AstraZeneca announced today that they will contribute considerable financial support to the project.
Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd temporarily takes over as Minister for Defence
At his own request, Sten Tolgfors was relieved of his duties as Minister for Defence on 29 March. Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has decided to temporarily appoint Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd as head of the Ministry of Defence, in addition to her ordinary duties as Minister for Infrastructure.
This Bill presents proposals to clarify employers' responsibility for sick pay. A period of sick pay shall not begin unless the worker has completely returned to work and worked for at least one day since the employer last paid sick pay for one full period of sick pay. It is proposed that the legislation enter into force on 1 July 2012.
Save the Sea, Connect the Region, and Increase Prosperity. These are the primary objectives of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, as announced by the European Commission. The objectives are very close to the ones that Sweden has sought to have adopted.
In 2012, work on rural issues is being intensified at the Government Offices. Rural circumstances and needs affect most policy areas, which is why government decisions must be 'rural proof'. You can read more about the subject in The Government newsletter this week.
Comment from Anders Borg prior to today's Ecofin meeting
On 13 March, Minister for Finance Anders Borg meets the press before the Ecofin Council meeting.
The Government is deepening and intensifying the major drive to prevent and combat men's violence against women that was launched during the last electoral period. Women and men, girls and boys, must be able to live free of the fear of being subjected to violence and other abuse. Today, on International Women's Day, the Government would like to turn the spotlight on this issue.
On Monday 5 March, Minister for Trade Ewa Björling will present the Government's initiative for the Bocuse d'Or Europe, which is taking place in Brussels this year. Dr Björling wants the competition to be held in Sweden in 2014.
"Food is an important part of the creative industries and a good way to broaden our exports and strengthen the image of Sweden and Sweden's appeal as a tourist destination," says Dr Björling.
The economic crisis has tightened its grip on Europe. Several European countries have huge national debts and need to implement major reforms. And so the economic crisis is once again the weighty topic on the agenda when EU heads of state and government gather for a new summit in Brussels on 1-2 March. Read more about this in this week's Government newsletter.